Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for 
Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!

SHOP SMART- SAVE BIRDShttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asphttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.aspshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1
City Island Birds
Since 2007

Birding Advocacy

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Photos and Results of Our Past Walks
2007- 2011

Owl Walk- March 24
Owlet Walk April 15, 2012
Spring “Migration Madness” Walk- May 6
Clapper Rail Walk- May 27   
Fall Migration Walk- Sept. 23, 2012
Migration Walk- October 14, 2012
Last Minute Barred Owl Walk- Dec. 9, 2012
Bronx Brooklyn Walk- January 12
Spring Migration Walk- May 5
Three Club Walk-  August 24
Fall Migration Walk 2013
Owlet Walk- April 13
Spring Migration Walk -May 10
Fall Migration Walk-October 12
After Thanksgiving Walk- Nov. 20

Early Spring Walk- April 12
Second Spring Migration Walk- May 3Previous_Birdwalks.htmlOwl_Walk.htmlOwlet_Walk.htmlMigration_Madness.htmlClapper_Rail_walk.htmlFall_Migration_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2012.htmlbarred_Owl_Walk.htmlBronx_Brooklyn_Walk.htmlSpring_Migration_2013.htmlThree_Club_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2013.htmlOwlet_Walk_2014.htmlSpring_Migration_2014.htmlFall_Migration_2014.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlEarly_Spring_2015.htmlSEcond_Spring_Migration_Walk.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0shapeimage_8_link_1shapeimage_8_link_2shapeimage_8_link_3shapeimage_8_link_4shapeimage_8_link_5shapeimage_8_link_6shapeimage_8_link_7shapeimage_8_link_8shapeimage_8_link_9shapeimage_8_link_10shapeimage_8_link_11shapeimage_8_link_12shapeimage_8_link_13shapeimage_8_link_14shapeimage_8_link_15shapeimage_8_link_16shapeimage_8_link_17shapeimage_8_link_18


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


City Island?http://forgotten-ny.com/2000/05/city-island/
Pelham Bay Park Maphttp://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_pelham_bay_park/images/Pelham%20map-rev2005.pdf
City Island Communityhttp://www.cityisland.com
Directions Herehttp://www.cityisland.com/directions.html
City Island Birding ClubCIB_Club.html

It’s been a while since I found a Green Heron at Turtle Cove but they do show every so often during the summer.

Northern Harriers and American Kestrels were always reliably found over the landfill in the southern zone of the park. With all the construction and restrictions I haven’t birded there at all.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

The Kazimiroff Nature Trail of Hunter Island
You may have noticed the new signs posted along the paths on Hunter island. The numbers correlate to different features of the “Island.” If you link below, you can find out what each sign post means. Dr. Kazimiroff was a noted Bronx naturalist. The trail marked in his honor winds through the largest and most natural of all of NYC parks. This area was once hunting and fishing grounds and the site of huge mansions. To find out more, print and bring the guide with you on your next walk. Kazimiroff Trail.pdf


You never know what you might find in Turtle Cove. This Little Blue Heron was there a few days a year or so ago.

Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos are nesting all around he park. They tend to be up very high in the trees. This Red-eyed Vireo would show a red eye in the right light.

Another bird we rarely see here is the Tri-colored Heron. He stayed a few days last summer.

Maybe two years ago American Oystercatchers nested on Orchard Beach. The nest didn’t survive as gulls predated the eggs. You can find these great looking birds off Hunter Island on the rock outcroppings.

                                                         Turtle Cove Story- Fascinating

Image there was no road leaving the City Island Traffic Circle towards Pelham Parkway. That’s how it was in the 1920’s. In those days, water flowed freely from Eastchester Bay into what is now the area we call Turtle Cove Pond. There was no road behind Turtle Cove and the water flowed from Eastchester Bay into the area near the crewing platform. One day the city decided to build a road to Pelham Parkway. When they build the road, they realized that they needed a bridge, to allow the continuous flow of water from Eastchester Bay into what is now known as Turtle Cove Pond. However, the city didn’t have enough money, so instead of constructing a bridge, they installed a culvert under the road and saved a lot of money. In those days, the wetlands were not valued, they were areas to be drained and filled.

Now, almost a hundred years later, the DEC decided that they need to restore the flow from Eastchester Bay into the Turtle Cove Pond, hence this new culvert.

The new culvert is now half complete. In the fall it will be extended through to the other side of the road. Right now, it only goes halfway underneath the road. When the project is finished, we will see how Turtle Pond fills and drains. At the present time, it is faring poorly. No water remains in the pond after high tide. The DEC promises that they will continue monitoring the pond and after the project is complete, they will make adjustments so that the tide will fill and flush in proportion to the tide. So we will have to wait and see.

John Sheridan found these nesting Common Terns on a dock floating out not far from his house. This photo is digiscoped but you can see Mom sitting on her eggs.

The Summer Birding Doldrums

June and July are not the most fun times to be birding. The migration is over, birds are laying low and walking through wetlands can be daunting, with mud, ticks, mosquitoes and heat. However, it’s still worth checking out local areas for nesting species, wading birds and raptors. By the end of July shorebirds will be returning and we’ll be back in business. 

Some summer species you might find around the park.........